Berlin. Max is 61. He has a lot of sex. Sex with escort guests. Sex with his leather friends. Sex with his boyfriend Dima, 25 years his junior. Sex with his old friend Jan. They all come to the playroom in Max’s Kreuzberg apartment. Max doesn’t hide his HIV positive status from anyone – today he only practices safer sex. For Dima, who is HIV negative, Max’s status isn’t a problem. Dima enjoys the freedom of their open relationship. He lives in Kiev but regularly visits Berlin, where he can live openly and pursue his sexual preferences without hiding.
At Max’s apartment, there’s always something going on. If Dima isn’t visiting from Kiev or no guests are visiting, Max makes whips from old bicycle tubes or cooks up a special fisting lube using a recipe of his own invention. The playroom also needs a lot of work: to avoid chaos, everything must stay in its allocated place. Max runs his life with military precision; order is of utmost importance to an ex-lieutenant colonel. The suspension of the sex sling is adjusted regularly; the steel cage cleaned and the toys are sorted and arranged. For Max, swapping the playroom for a regular bedroom is out of the question. He sleeps in the living room.
Max’s life runs like clockwork. But when a routine check up during one of Dima’s visits to Berlin delivers some shocking news, Max’s ordered life starts to come apart at the seams. We are taken on a journey between clinics and immigration departments, between Berlin and Kiev. In the complicated cats-cradle strung between the loaded silence of the family kitchen and the comfort and safety of the playroom, lies a wordless craving for acceptance, affection and security. Max and the Others lifts the curtains on a hidden world in which survival is achieved by excluding others until only loneliness remains.